November started out with a really excellent first week of training. The highlight was the long run: 18.66 miles with negative splits. I went into this run just hoping to make it to 18 miles. I started very slow and mixed in some walking breaks. I’ve been having a hard time getting warmed up lately, so I thought some planned walking breaks would help me relax if it felt very difficult in the early miles. I did a 4:1 ratio for the first three miles. I left my watch on run/walk for the entire run. Once I made it through the first 10k, I decided to use the walk breaks as surges. This felt great. With three miles left I switched to 4 minutes hard, 1 minute easy. I could tell I was working hard, but I never doubted my ability to finish the run. My average pace for this run was 9:12, just 6 seconds slower than my marathon pace. Definitely wasn’t expecting that!
The second week of training started out with a really crummy 4 mile run. And that was it. That was my entire second week of training. If I had been posting regularly, you’d know that I have been going back and forth on the ultra marathon on an almost daily basis since I first thought of it in September. I landed on “no” and the decision finally stuck.
I have to go to work. I have to study. And I have to sleep. But I don’t have to spend hours and hours a week running. I like to spend my time doing this but right now it just isn’t worth the price. It was one too many things on my plate and was causing me far too much stress, especially when I missed a run. I also realized that part of the reason for the back and forth on the ultra might be that I was never really 100% invested. Running an ultra marathon has never been one of my goals. Why was I suddenly pushing to do one right now?
Right now my priority is finding some balance during my very limited free time. My husband and I celebrated our third anniversary earlier this month and it was really nice to take a weekend off from running and homework to celebrate. I even made time for a yoga class last weekend. Hopefully I can keep this up as we enter the busy holiday season. Happy early thanksgiving everyone!